Thursday, June 24, 2010

Short Movie Reviews

We drank the Netflix Kool-Aid at the Whiteplume residence. Not all the things I am watching will need a full treatment, so here are some blurbs:

Tokyo Gore Police is a weird little film from Japan whose plot I cannot totally remember. Basically, there are "people" called engineers who are hunted down, kind of Blade Runner style. The only way I could describe it while watching was to say "I can't believe Julie Strain is not in this." It is a blood-bath full of decapitations and dismemberments. Gallons of thin, cherry red blood spurt and flow across the screen. It was interesting, but a tad forgettable.

Verdict: Hmm... Interesting at least.

The Machine Girl is similar to Tokyo Gore Police, in that it is also a blood-bath. It is lower budget, and so smacks of Troma that I really can't believe Julie Strain is not in it. The interesting part is the way this film looks at how children are often worshiped by their parents. It is a circular revenge film. Ami wants to avenge her brother's murder. The kids who bullied him to death are then being avenged by their parents... Of particular hotness is Honoka who plays Violet Kimura, mother of the main bad-kid. Hers are some of the best scenes in the film.

Verdict: Hmm, with a chance of meh.

Julie Strain's Tales from the Crapper. I am going to have to give this one another shot, perhaps. Perhaps. I watched maybe twenty minutes that involved some guy from Troma explaining the movie, Julie Strain and some other Troma girls stripping, and an ancient hobo/private investigator who gets his dick chopped off by an alien(?) after getting thrown out of the strip club for jerking off. Sure, this might sound exactly like something I would watch, but despite Julie Strain nakedness, I did not find this very watchable. I'd rather just watch a Andy Sidaris vehicle if I want to see Julie Strain naked.

Verdict: You must really need to see yet another Julie Strain movie.

Ghost in a Teeny Bikini is possibly even worse than it sounds. This is definitely a Skinemax flick. I watched maybe ten minutes of it, and it is the typical "belly kissing" softcore affair. The sets are not worthy of regular porn. I am sure there is a story somewhere, but all I got was one chick trapped in a jungle lair who is saved my some Rambo wanna-be. With only "maybe a half an hour to live" they decide to have faux sex rather than, I don't know, get the fuck out of there?!? I am a bit intrigued to see Nicole Sheridan (the Ghost), though I have serious doubts she looks as good on video as in touched-up photographs.

Verdict: Withheld, temporarily. Maybe Fred Olen Ray has something up his sleeve?

Invictus was not as heavy handed as I expected, though I should know better when Clint Eastwood is at the helm. It was a good story about a difficult time, and touched on a lot without bogging things down too much. The film gave me a view of Mandela I had not really seen before, namely in his political maneuvering. He was not just some old man who got out of jail, but a man who knew how to get movements going. I had to watch with the subtitles, as the accents are strong and non-uniform, which makes sense as South Africa is a conglomerate of peoples.

Verdict: Well worth watching.

That's all for now. I promise to be at least a little less low-brow next week.


Tenebrous Kate said...

I find myself singing the "one of these things is not like the others" song from "Sesame Street!" :)

But you're so spot on about the Troma-ness of "Machine Girl." I just didn't like the movie, in spite of enjoying some of the *elements* of the movie. It just came off as too mean to be funny, and not funny enough to justify its over-the-top style. The trailer is still pretty amazing, though!

Darius Whiteplume said...

Yeah, Invictus is out of place, but I didn't care enough to do a whole post on it. It was very good though.

I find myself oddly attracted to J Horror. Maybe it is the puzzle-like nature of the plots. Not so much that they are complicated, but more like "why the fuck is this happening?" They all tend to be very rapey, which is off-putting.

Frank White said...

I too thought Machine Girl was some sort of chimeric J-Troma beast. Possibly an artifact of its creation via special effects gurus instead of "traditional" filmmakers.

The makeup guy from Tokyo Gore Police actually directed Machine Girl (or maybe it was vice versa) so they are starting to form a loose, Troma like network of shlock. It has about as much to do with first wave J-Horrors like Pulse or Ringu as Troma itself has to do with The Shining---Opposite ends of the goofiness spectrum.

If you find yourself looking for more WTF heavy J-flicks, I recommend "Infection" (serious, oozy, nonsensical), "Izo" (pretentious, sword fighty, random) and the sublime "Hausu" (goofy, bizarre, painfully Japanese).

And finally: TGP > MG

Darius Whiteplume said...

"TGP > MG" - Agreed

I will have to check those out. Netflix is _full_ of J Horror on demand. I am going to check out "Audition" next, by Miike. I am not a huge fan of his, but like so many others, Franco or Ed Wood, his passion is apparent even where skill might be lacking (in certain aspects).

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